'The Mindy Project': How Indie Rockers The National Landed on the Fox Comedy

Frontman Matt Berninger made it no secret that he was a fan of the Fox comedy, so naturally he and his bandmates booked a cameo.
Greg Gayne/FOX
"The Mindy Project" and The National

Indie rock band The National is dropping by Fox comedy The Mindy Project.

In fact, when the four-piece led by Matt Berninger makes a cameo in the Oct. 1 episode, it will be the first time the half-hour comedy has booked a musical guest star.

But The National's cameo has significance. The members are huge fans of The Mindy Project -- most notably Berninger, who binge-watched the series with his wife, Carin Besser, a former editor at The New Yorker.

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When producers -- fans of the band's music -- caught wind that Berninger and his bandmates were devoted Mindy Project viewers, it only seemed natural that they reach out to The National for a primetime spotlight.

The episode that the band appears in is appropriate: Mindy (Mindy Kaling) and her officemates attend a fictional music festival, Pennyfarthing, that happens to feature The National as the headlining act. Also on the bill? Mindy's boyfriend, Casey (Anders Holm).

Berninger, guitarist Bryce Dessner, guitarist/keyboardist Aaron Dessner and bassist Scott Devendorf perform an acoustic version of "This Is the Last Time," from the group's latest album, Trouble Will Find Me, in a faux marriage proposal scene between Danny (Chris Messina) and Morgan (Ike Barinholtz). 

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The festival scenes were shot in the hills behind the Universal Studios lot in Los Angeles. 

"It was super fun," Dessner said in a chat with Elle back in August. "Some of the writers are big fans of the band, so they wrote us into an episode."

This isn't the first time Berninger has contributed tracks to a television show. Earlier this year, he recorded "I'll See You in My Dreams" for Boardwalk Empire's soundtrack, released Sept. 3.

The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.

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